Peter Magowan didn't wait long to make an impact after his ownership group purchased the Giants in 1992.
Before the purchase was complete, the Giants signed Bay Area native Barry Bonds to a record-breaking six-year contract. Bonds, whose father was former Giant Bobby Bonds, was widely considered one of the best players in baseball and his signing brought instant credibility to the new ownership group.
Magowan passed away on Sunday, and Bonds paid tribute to the man who helped bring the eventual home-run king to San Francisco.
I’m extremely saddened by the passing of Peter Magowan. I will never forget our first call about the possibility of me coming home to play. He saved baseball for San Francisco and will be greatly missed. Sending my love and prayers to Debby and family. I love you Peter Magowan. pic.twitter.com/eMHZkmtrz2— Barry L Bonds (@BarryBonds) January 28, 2019
Bonds' godfather, Giants legend Willie Mays, was Magowan's favorite player growing up in New York. The two became close when Magowan took the reigns of his childhood team, and Mays said in a statement that he lost "a great, great friend."
"Peter Magowan has been a part of my life for a long, long time, first as a fan watching me play in New York, and then, remaining a fan when we moved to San Francisco," Mays said. "Along the way, he became my friend. Peter would call me often to check in. He and Debby cared about me, and it was so easy to care about them in return. It's hard to find the right words just now, but in losing Peter, I've lost a great, great friend. He was like my godfather. No one can replace him."
A host of other current and former Giants also shared their respects.
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Sad day for the SF Giants. Peter will be missed. You didn’t have to spend much time around him to realize how much he loved the Giants and the the city of San Francisco. It’s people like him that have made the organization so special. #Repost @sfgiants ・・・ It is with deep sadness that we share the news that former #SFGiants President and Managing General Partner Peter Magowan passed away today, surrounded by his loving family. #ForeverGiant
RIP my friend. You did so much for this city and for the @sfgiants organization. You’ll be missed!!! #Repost @sfgiants— Jeremy Affeldt (@JeremyAffeldt) January 28, 2019
It is with deep sadness that we share the news that former… https://t.co/ynHctxrclG
Peter Magowan gave me the chance of a lifetime...to play for the team I grew up rooting for. A NorCal kid who watched games in the bleachers at the ‘Stick, got a chance to stand on the field and wear the #Giants uniform proudly, thanks to Peter. Eternally grateful. RIP my friend— F.P. Santangelo (@FightinHydrant) January 27, 2019
Lynn Crawford, mother of Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, said in an Instagram post that Magowan keeping the Giants in San Francisco helped make her "son's dream a reality."
The Giants are set to honor Magowan in their Wall of Fame on Feb. 9.